Hand-Holding: More Intimate Than Sex?
A young woman attending a college workshop on sexual assault was shocked to hear men say they thought handholding was more intimate than sex.
After all, they held hands with women they cared about. They could get a hand job — or even intercourse — from any old hookup.
Well, I’m perplexed, too.
People often reach out and grab the hand of someone they have just met and it rarely bothers anyone. But the thought of reaching out and grabbing an acquaintance’s “privates” seems … well, inappropriate, disgusting, horrifying.
Being physically naked, vulnerable and entwined, yet emotionally remote, just feels weird to me. Aloof intimacy seems like an oxymoron.
But then, I missed hookup culture. And the shocked young woman, who was just starting college, was just being introduced to it.
Actually, the phenomenon can bewilder those who’ve lived through it, too.
I’ve heard so many of my friends saying, ‘Why can’t I have sex and feel nothing?’ It was amazing: that this was the new goal.”
Others say they must be drunk to tolerate it.
Maybe it’s not so strange, after all, to feel that being physically open and vulnerable — without accompanying trust and connection — is a bit bizarre.
Maybe that’s why three-quarters of college students — both men and women — say they prefer relationship sex.
Still, as Ms. Dunham points out, plenty of women still think that physical intimacy sans emotional intimacy is something to aim for.
Maybe that’s because it’s widely thought that that’s how guys do sex. And we tend to value men and men’s ways over women and women’s ways.
Even when those ways are more stereotypical than real. Remember that three-quarters of men would rather intimately connect with both body and soul.
Something seems madly amiss to me when handholding feels more intimate than sex. If you feel otherwise, I’m curious to hear your thoughts.
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Posted on January 12, 2015, in men, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, women and tagged casual sex, hook up sex, men, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, women. Bookmark the permalink. 47 Comments.